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Premium Bandai’s Special Interview with Hiroshi Fujioka


Premium Bandai’s Special Interview with Hiroshi Fujioka

On August 4, Premium Bandai published an interview with Hiroshi Fujioka about his role as Takeshi Hongo / Kamen Rider #1.

To celebrate the upcoming Complete Selection Modification (CSM) Henshin Belt Typhoon, Premium Bandai held an interview with Hiroshi Fujioka, known for his portrayal of Takeshi Hongo / Kamen Rider #1, the very first Kamen Rider. The CSM Henshin Belt Typhoon is currently available for preorders.

For Kamen Rider’s 50th anniversary, the very first transforming belt, Kamen Rider #1 and #2’s Typhoon, is being released in the “CSM Henshin Belt Typhoon KAMEN RIDER 50th Anniversary Memorial Set”. How did feel when you first saw the product sample?

It’s a fine item, isn’t it! I think it’s even better than the belt I wore 50 years ago. (laughs) It’s plain to see how high the quality is, so I think owners of this belt will be very happy.

With this, the “New #1” version is being pushed. Your character, Takeshi Hongo, took over for Hayato Ichimonji / Kamen Rider #2 (played by Takeshi Sasaki) in episode 53 to protect Japan once again and did his transformation pose for the first time. The “Rider pose”, as it became known, became very popular.

That pose came from a combination of Nemuri Kyoshiro‘s* full moon sword style, karate, and posturing from kabuki [a kind of traditional Japanese theatre].

*Nemuri Kyoshiro is a series of samurai novels written by Renzaburo Shibata.

Your extended arm comes out sharply and powerfully. It makes quite the impression!

It’s a simple motion, but it’s pleasing to the eye, isn’t it? It’s thanks to my martial arts knowledge. Start from the right arm, rotate it slowly, and then extend the left arm. There’s purpose at every point in that sequence. Your soul must be in it from start to finish. I try to be aware of my body down to the end of my fingertips up until that final, decisive motion.

Who came up with the transformation pose?

That would be Kazutoshi Takahashi, a choreographer from the Ohno Kenyuu-kai performance troupe. I remember how he instructed me saying “Takeshi Hongo’s transformation pose is like this.”

You always praise the Ohno Kenyuu-kai members for taking on action scenes many would deem dangerous.

They are all distinguished members of the Kamen Rider production. The founder, Kotaro Ohno, would come on site and have this intense atmosphere about him. It was as if no one could disobey when he spoke. As expected of someone who has done countless fights and made history, his ability to persuade is very different. Truly the mark of a samurai.

While Kamen Rider was broadcasting, did you ever see children wearing the top-selling “flashing, spinning Kamen Rider transformation belt”?

Oh, many times. Of course, I was pleased, but I could also sense how great an impact the show has made on children who love Kamen Rider. There were times it was overwhelming to have their innocent eyes on me. In their eyes, their deep admiration for Takeshi Hongo and Kamen Rider are one and the same. I thought, “I absolutely cannot betray or disappoint these children.” Even now, I tell myself that I mustn’t forget those children’s looks of admiration. Children are a treasure who will bear the future. Keeping that in mind, I’ve always encouraged children to be kind. I tell them, “Kindness is ‘strength’, okay? That’s why people are kind. Now go and be strong!”

50 years ago, the children who passionatey supported Kamen Rider have become fine adults. They hope that the CSM Henshin Belt Typhoon will evoke those feelings once again. Please give a message to those buying the CSM Typhoon.

To those of you buying this belt, I sincerely hope that your inner child and your feelings from that time: your admiration for Kamen Rider, your desire to transform into Kamen Rider, will return. Humans are weak beings and cannot live alone. I believe that living involves holding onto those who support our hearts. I believe that this is true all around the world, regardless of borders or citizenship. Especially with children, you absolutely cannot betray their trust. They need to feel that a “hero” will be on their side no matter what. They look up to heroes that fight evil and think “I want to be that kind of person. I want to be strong.”

And not just the children. It’s fine for adults to admire heroes too. Bring back that childlike mentality, be fired up, and be passionate. I hope the idea that “Takeshi Hongo / Kamen Rider is still fighting today. I have to fight too!” will also be encouragement for your spirit. It would also certainly please me if you moved forward thinking, “Takeshi Hongo- no, Hiroshi Fujioka is still alive. Where does his energy and power come from? I can’t lose like this!”

Source: Premium Bandai

TeamTokuNet editor/translator living in Japan who also enjoys karaoke, papercraft, and dramas.

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